IMUC-Chapter 57: National Image

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Under Fury’s guidance, Kyle followed him to the command room of the American Army headquarters.

“You can go in. I’m just here to deliver a message,” Fury stopped at the entrance of the command room and gestured for Kyle to enter alone.

“Okay, I’ll find you later.” Kyle nodded and confidently stepped into the command room.

The room was monotonously decorated with a large strategic map as a backdrop and an American flag with stripes and stars. Behind a military desk piled with documents sat a middle-aged officer.

The middle-aged officer appeared to be in his early forties, with a stern and rugged face. He was wearing a complete military uniform, and on the left side of his chest, there was a distinguished insignia of a General, adorned with five stars.

A Five-Star General! The most advanced position in the army in the United States during World War II and the highest commander of the tripartite alliance in this war!

Kyle looked at the general officer in front of him, planted his feet firmly, and saluted in a disciplined manner. He spoke up, “Major Kyle reporting!”

General Chester looked up, his sharp gaze assessing Kyle who stood three meters in front of him. Then, with a gentle smile, he nodded and said, “Major Kyle, you’ve finally returned.”

Kyle nodded and said, “Yes, during the battle in the Alps, there were some unexpected events in the final pursuit of Hydra’s leader, Schmidt. Steve piloted a malfunctioning aircraft and crashed into the sea, while I managed to parachute out and escape.”

“Steve… I’ve already read the telegram sent by Agent Carter, detailing the specifics,” General Chester sighed with regret and said to Kyle, “Your safe return is already the greatest victory for our military. In this critical moment of the Second World War, we cannot afford to lose our war heroes easily.”

General Chester paused for a moment and said meaningfully, “Actually, I’ve been wanting to meet you in person. You should know that the Super Soldier experiment was ordered by me to be completed. You were the one who refused to be the pioneer of the Super Soldier experiment and gave the opportunity to Steve in the same camp. I still remember it vividly.”

Kyle felt embarrassed and shrugged, saying, “Regarding that, I can only say that I was too proud at the time and didn’t cherish the opportunity to become a Super Soldier. Fortunately, luck was on my side, and I became the second Super Soldier through a series of coincidences.”

“Indeed, you have the right to be proud,” General Chester shook his head slightly and said in a deep voice, “After Steve became the only Super Soldier, I had high expectations for the American justice and willpower within him. That’s why I personally taught him combat techniques.”

“Steve becoming Captain America, the American hero, though it exceeded my expectations, was still within the realm of possibility.”

“But you, Kyle, from a recruit at the training base to creating countless war miracles on the front lines and gradually becoming the dominant hero on the battlefield, your achievements far exceed my imagination.”

After General Chester finished speaking, he looked at Kyle with undisguised admiration in his eyes.

“Luck, it’s all luck,” Kyle modestly said. The General was really praising him to the heavens, so he had to be humble for a moment.

“If it’s all luck, then perhaps Lady Luck has spent all her fortune on you,” General Chester teased, then became serious and said, “Yesterday, when I learned that you had safely returned to the training base, I contacted the President to discuss your situation.”

“Discuss me?” Kyle was slightly taken aback, waiting for General Chester to continue.

General Chester said seriously, “I recommended that you be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, and the President has approved it.”

‘Brigadier… Brigadier General?’

Kyle was completely stunned this time. What did Brigadier General mean? It was a rank equivalent to that of a General!

Although there had been remarkable promotions before, from recruit to Corporal, from Corporal to Second Lieutenant for meritorious service, and from Second Lieutenant to Major for repeated achievements, this promotion was truly astonishing.

It should be noted that each small promotion from a Major took a significant amount of time and required a substantial accumulation of military achievements. Yet, it hadn’t even been a month since Kyle was promoted to the rank of Major.

“General Chester, I don’t think I have accumulated enough military merits to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General,” Kyle hesitated a bit.

“Hahaha, if it were solely based on military merits and accomplishments, you would have to strive for fifty years at most and become a Four-Star General at best,” General Chester laughed as he spoke before he pointed out to Kyle, “Now is the time of the Second World War, and everything has exceptions!”

That’s true. A Five-Star General, the United States only had one during World War II.

Kyle nodded thoughtfully.

General Chester continued, “The military protocols of peacetime don’t apply here. As long as it can better guide the war to victory, not to mention the rank of Brigadier General, even the position of a Five-Star General is within your reach!”

“Only a Brigadier General? I have no reason to be afraid,” Kyle confidently nodded, expressing his final concern, “However, on the battlefield, I excel more in individual combat and enemy elimination than commanding and leading soldiers. Is it too extravagant to promote me to the rank of Brigadier General?”

“Not extravagant at all,” General Chester smiled and replied, “With your current fame and prestige as a war hero, even if we promote you to Brigadier General as an exception, all our soldiers would wholeheartedly approve.”

“What’s more important is that the upcoming campaign to attack Germany is led by our forces as the dominant Allied power. As the representative hero of our country, having the rank of a Major might make some foreign officers look down upon you.”

Hearing this, Kyle quickly understood.

General Chester’s exceptional promotion of him to Brigadier General was not just for his sake, but also for the dignity of the entire country and military.

A symbol of national strength and the War Hero— being just a Major? That wouldn’t do. At least the rank of a General was necessary to have prestige!

General Chester spoke calmly, “You can entrust the command of the troops you lead to officers you trust. If there are no other questions, from now on, you will be a Brigadier General. The corresponding insignia of your rank will be handed over to you now. I will also help you submit the relevant documents for the promotion. This promotion message will be spread among our military and the Allied forces before our convergence.”

“General, you’ve already arranged everything. There’s no reason for me to refuse,” Kyle shrugged. The rank of Brigadier General was being forcefully bestowed upon him so there was no reason not to accept it.

Five minutes later, Kyle left the command room somewhat speechless.

Fury had been waiting just outside the command room and approached Kyle as soon as he saw him. He greeted, “Hey, Kyle. What’s wrong? You look gloomy.”

“Take a look for yourself,” Kyle said expressionlessly, lifting his left shoulder.

“Hmm? Your rank as a Major has turned into Two Stars…” Fury’s words came to an abrupt halt in astonishment. He rubbed his right eye and with widened eyes, said bitterly, “Is my other eye having issues? How am I seeing the insignia of a Brigadier General on your shoulder?”

“You’re not mistaken. It’s indeed the rank of Brigadier General,” Kyle replied uninterestedly.

The promotion was a good thing. The problem was that being promoted to Brigadier General like this didn’t really give a sense of accomplishment!

(End of Chapter)

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